“Shucks, he wouldn’t lend him a dime. I know Old Salt. Don’t fret, we’ll foreclose when we get ready.”
“I ain’t fretting,” said Racey. “You’ll foreclose, huh? Aw right. I just wanted to be shore. You can go now, Luke.”
Thus dismissed Tweezy rose to his feet and glared down at Racey Dawson. His little eyes shone with spite.
“Say it,” urged Racey. “You’ll bust if you don’t.”
But Luke Tweezy did not say it. He knew better. Without a word he returned to the house.
“They ain’t going to foreclose, that’s a cinch,” said Racey when the ponies were fox-trotting toward Soogan Creek and the Bar S range five minutes later. “Luke’s telling me they were proves they ain’t.”
“Shore,” acquiesced Swing, “but what are they gonna do?”
“I ain’t figured that out yet.”
“You mean you dunno. That’s the size of it,”
“How’d you happen to be at that window so providential this mornin’?” Racey queried, hurriedly.
“How’d you s’pose? Don’t you guess I’d know they was something up from the nice, kind way you said so-long to me back there at the Dales’? Huh? ’Course I did—I ain’t no fool. You’d oughta had sense enough to take me along in the first place instead of makin’ me trail you miles an’ miles. And where would you ‘a’ been if I hadn’t come siftin’ along, I’d like to know? Might know you’d need a witness. Them two jiggers put together could easy make you lots of trouble. What was you thinking of, anyhow, Racey?”
“How could I tell they were both gonna be together? Besides, three of the 88 boys were over in the bunkhouse. I was counting on them.”
“Over in the bunkhouse, huh? A lot of good they’d done you there. A lot of good. Oh, yo’re bright, Racey. I’d tell a man that, I would.”
Racey, walking suddenly round the corner of the Dale stable, came upon Mr. Dale tilting a bottle toward the sky. The business end of the bottle was inserted between Mr. Dale’s lips. His Adam’s apple slid gravely up and down. He did not see Racey Dawson.
“Howdy,” said the puncher.
Mr. Dale removed the bottle, whirled, and thrust the bottle behind him.
“Oh, it’s you,” he said, blinking, and slowly producing the bottle. “Huh-have one on me.”
“Not to-day,” refused Racey, shaking his head. “I got a misery in my stummick. Doctor won’t lemme drink any.”
“Yeah?” Thus Mr. Dale with interest. Then, again proffering the liquor, he said: “This here’s fine for the misery. Better have a snooter.”
“No, I guess not.”
“Well, I will,” averred Mr. Dale and downed three swallows rapidly. “Yeah,” he continued, driving in the cork with the heel of his hand, “a feller needs a drink now and then.”
“Helps him stand off trouble, don’t it?” Racey hazarded, sympathetically, perceiving an opening.